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High School Assignment Wows First Graders

It was more than just a craft project though. The project started out as a high school woods production assignment. High school students in Matt Melvin's class were given a challenging task: Mass produce a simple product and try to sell it and make a profit.

Hunter Allen, Samantha Stayton and Barbara Gillhespy decided to make wooden Christmas ornaments.  Using the laser cutter at school, they programmed the design into a computer and cut out mass amounts of the six-piece ornaments on thin balsa wood.

Their marketing plan led to more than 60 sales, but they decided to take their project a step further. They decided to share a little holiday cheer and give younger students in Ms. Mitcham's McFall Elementary class each an ornament to decorate and take home.

"It was so much fun," said Allen as he finished assembling the waiting ornaments. "It was so worth all the work to bring the ornaments here."

Gillhespy said she liked the woods production class and has learned a lot from it. "I like to work with my hands and you have to really creative to come up with ideas. It's a lot of fun," she said.

When Gillhespy had an unexpected conflict and couldn't go with the others to McFall, another high school student, Jake Flikkema gladly stepped in to help.

"I think it went really well and it brought me back to what it was like to be in first grade again," said Flikkema. "I'm so glad I got to help."

First graders were excited about taking the ornaments home and putting them up as decorations in their own homes. "I love it," said Beard as he danced around his desk.

"This was a lot of fun," said Stayton. "I think they (the first graders) liked it and hopefully they'll have the ornaments for a long time."